Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it seems like the worst part about having to cook isn’t the cooking itself. It’s figuring out what I feel like eating, what I have in my pantry, and what I need to buy. Cookmate tries to solve that problem by suggesting recipes based on the ingredients you have at home, and automatically making a shopping list with the everything you need to buy.
How does it work?
When you first open the app, you’re faced with a virtual pantry with several groups of ingredients like meat, dairy and vegetables. By clicking on each one, you can select the specific ingredients you have available in your kitchen. When you’re done you go back to the main screen and click search.
Cookmate will now list all the recipes — ordered by the ingredients you have available. You can then click on a recipe to see it in detail and to see a list of the ingredients you’re missing. From there, it automatically adds the ingredients to the grocery list with the click of a button.
One of the things I love about this app is that it’s several apps in one: a recipe app, a shopping list app and a kitchen inventory app. It helps keep my iPhone homescreen slightly less cluttered. Another great feature is that you can share your favorite recipes by email or Facebook, and you can email or text your grocery list to someone else if you don’t have the time to do the shopping yourself.
The Not So Good
One of my main concerns is that I can’t add my own recipes or edit the existing ones. Apparently, in the next version, you will be able to buy more recipes via in-app purchases, but I would still like to add my own. I would also like to be able to add other ingredients to the app. Another thing that bothers me is that the app only considers ingredients, but not quantities. So if I have 2 eggs at home, and a recipe asks for 6 it won’t warn me that I need more (and I can’t add them manually to the grocery list).
Overall Cookmate has a brilliant concept, gorgeous design and great functionality. It does have some limitations, but it’s expected since it’s currently a 1.01 release. I will definitely keep an eye on its development since it shows a great deal of promise. In the mean time, I’m going to whip up some yummy recipes.
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